The relationship between dietary fat intake and risk of colorectal cancer: evidence from the combined analysis of 13 case-control studies

Cancer Causes Control. 1997 Mar;8(2):215-28. doi: 10.1023/a:1018476414781.


The objective of this study was to examine the effects of the intake of dietary fat upon colorectal cancer risk in a combined analysis of data from 13 case-control studies previously conducted in populations with differing colorectal cancer rates and dietary practices. Original data records for 5,287 cases of colorectal cancer and 10,470 controls were combined. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) for intakes of total energy, total fat and its components, and cholesterol. Positive associations with energy intake were observed for 11 of the 13 studies. However, there was little, if any, evidence of any energy-independent effect of either total fat with ORs of 1.00, 0.95, 1.01, 1.02, and 0.92 for quintiles of residuals of total fat intake (P trend = 0.67) or for saturated fat with ORs of 1.00, 1.08, 1.06, 1.21, and 1.06 (P trend = 0.39). The analysis suggests that, among these case-control studies, there is no energy-independent association between dietary fat intake and risk of colorectal cancer. It also suggests that simple substitution of fat by other sources of calories is unlikely to reduce meaningfully the risk of colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Distribution
  • Survival Rate


  • Dietary Fats